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By Paul Brucker
Alliant Credit Union gave 10 of its members a belated holiday gift by awarding them big money as part of its “Happiest Holiday Ever Sweepstakes.”
From November 1, 2013, to January 15, 2014, each time members used their Alliant Credit Union Visa® credit card to make a qualifying transaction, they earned one entry in the sweepstakes. There was no limit on the transaction amount or the number of entries they could earn, as they used their Alliant Visa card for everyday shopping, gas, groceries, online purchases, holiday gifts, and more.
On January 31, 2014, 10 lucky winners were randomly selected.
Brad Behrens of American Canyon, CA, got the phone call about his prize while working as a senior carpenter in the United Airlines workshop at the San Francisco International Airport. “Woo-hoo!” he roared. His co-workers thought his happy yell meant the garage door he had ordered for his D.I.Y. home addition had arrived. When he told them about the $5,000 prize, they all gave him high-fives. He plans to use his winnings to finish his home addition, which includes a garage, bedroom and bathroom. Brad became an Alliant member when he joined United 26 years ago and secured a $500 Alliant loan to tide him over until his first paycheck. An avid golfer with a 4.6 handicap, the last time Brad won something was a golf club in a contest for hitting the longest drive – 350 yards. Brad is also an avid car buyer, typically trading in and buying another one every few years with an Alliant loan. He now drives a Toyota Tacoma.
Kitty Bystrom of Addison, IL, was enjoying her third winter as a snow bird in Florida, avoiding the Chicago-area deep freeze, when she got the call about winning. “It just blew me away,” she says, “because I have never won anything before.” From the lanai of her Florida condo, Kitty has a magnificent view of the Gulf Coast waters. She retired after 22 years at United Airlines where she worked as an administrative assistant in the finance division. Kitty traveled a lot during her tenure at United Airlines, but there are a few places she still yearns to see for the first time. She may use her prize money to visit Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies or Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island.
Stan Chmielowiec of Arlington Heights, IL, had been getting telemarketing calls for vacation sweepstakes. So at first, he was skeptical when he got the call from Alliant informing him of his prize. Now, he looks forward to using his prize money to help pay his taxes and to take out his children and grandchildren for a good dinner. Stan is no stranger to winning money – he has won the lottery twice for payouts of $3,500 and $2,200. After working at United Airlines for 42 years, he retired as supervisor of aircraft maintenance at Chicago's O’Hare International Airport.
The seven other lucky winners of the Alliant Happiest Holiday Ever Sweepstakes are: